tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN January 19, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PST
the at-home covid tests also alive. every household can sign up for four free home tests. they usually ship within 7 to 12 days. thank you for joining us on "inside politics." we'll see you back here tomorrow. ana cabrera picks up our coverage right now. hello, i'm ana cabrera in new york. thank you for being with us. the president facing tough questions in several crises as we count down to his press conference this afternoon. as president biden approaches one year in office, he looks to reset a trajectory of a presidency struggling to gain traction, hitting road blocks within his own party, covid cases hitting record highs, his approval rating slipping. he is plowing forward in the shadow of a predecessor whose
presence remains in legal lingo, if not peril. trump's legal team announced a last-minute challenge to today's scheduled release of trump white house records. and the new york attorney general turning up the heat on the civil investigation of the trump organization, citing significant evidence, she says, of financial fraud, and she's asked a court now to compel donald trump and his children, don jr. and ivanka, to testify under oath. let's begin with the current administration, and cnn's jeff zeleny at the white house. jeff, president biden will no doubt field a lot of tough questions from reporters in this rare and consequential moment he's in. what should we expect? >> reporter: ana, there's no doubt this is the end of the first term that so many challenges and crises linger into the second term which begins tomorrow. the president, we are told, is going to tout those accomplishments.
remember the infrastructure bill the bipartisan passed last year, the covid relief bill passed in the early part of the year, but since then there has been a string of setbacks. the white house also knows, talking to a variety of advisors, that the president has to acknowledge the current moment, the setbacks and the struggles he has had to turn the page in the second term. but one question we have, is he going to reset his administration but also reset the expectations for democrats? one of the things here is the divisions among democrats, between progressives and moderates, in the senate just a couple moderates here. we've seen it playing out in the voting rights bill that's going to be -- that's going to fail after the president's news conference. is he going to try to reset expectations for the broader party here? he has a very narrow majority. so perhaps the ambitious agenda he has laid out is simply not going to get through. but of course he will be taking questions on a variety of fronts. but one thing talking to advisors he knows he will have to acknowledge is the issue with
covid-19 and testing. he acknowledged it before that he wishes he would have had more tests earlier. now the website is underway, rolled out this morning where americans can simply sign up and get a test sent to their homes. masks are being distributed for free, so there are steps being taken. but the question is when will normalcy continue going into this year? so many, many questions. we'll see how reflective he is on this first year in office. he was the most seasoned president in modern time elected. he knows president's fortunes go up and down. the question is what does he have to do to get his back up again? >> jeff zeleny, thank you for setting the table for us. let's discuss with chief analyst gloria borger. gloria, what will you be watching for at his press conference? >> i'll be watching for a dose of humility. he's done this before. but a president who has to say, look, we miscalculated on omicron. we didn't expect it. we didn't have enough tests.
i doubt he's going to admit that he spent too much time trying to negotiate build back better, in which case it looked like he was being led by democrats rather than leading democrats. but the big thing i'm going to look for is a president who is ready to say, okay, we're going to need a course correction. this is what we're going to do. we are going to try and pass parts of build back better rather than the whole plan. we're going to try and get prescription drug benefits, which people want. universal pre-k, which people want. and most of all, i think, he has to kind of take the reins and look like a competent leader. i think throughout this first year, lots of questions have been raised about competency. i think it goes all the way back to the way afghanistan was handled, and you saw his poll numbers starting to dip at that point. and they haven't recovered. this is a president who has bled his support with independent
voters. those voters believe that he ran as a moderate and governed as a liberal. so he has to kind of do a reset here. i'm going to be looking for that with a president who sort of takes charge again and says, this is what we are going to do, this is what i'm going to get done, and not dwell on the past but talk about the future and what he's going to do for americans who are worried not only about the pandemic, but about inflation and about what's going on abroad. so, again, he has to lead and not act like he's being led by external events. >> he's facing an uphill climb right now because momentum is completely in the opposite direction than we want it to be, and given a 50-50 senate and a very partisan washington, that's very different from the time he was vp, let alone when he was in congress. i assume president biden knew it wouldn't be easy to deliver on his promises, but do you think he expected the opposition that he's seeing from inside his own
party? >> no, i don't think he did expect it. i also don't think he expected people to resist vaccines the way they have resisted vaccines. this is someone who was in the senate for 36 years, and was vice president for eight, but this is a very different place. and i think he had to learn that. he prefers the kind of quiet, back door diplomacy, okay, i'm going to have joe manchin at the white house, i'm going to have kyrsten sinema at the white house. we'll jaw on this thing and maybe we can get it to work out. it doesn't work that way. i think he learned that the hard way, and as a result, he allowed the divisions within the democratic party to fester publicly for months and looked as if he just wasn't in charge. and the american public was watching that and saying, wait a minute. you're supposed to be the guy in charge here of your own party. if you have to prove that you can run a governing majority, even with a slight margin, then
you ought to do it, but presidents always overestimate their mandates, i believe, and i think biden did the same thing. talking to white house sources, it's clear to me that goes back to covid and that he saw there was such a crisis in the country that i think instead of trying to be a transitional president, he set out trying to be a tran transformational president. >> he sort of missed opportunities to communicate more with the american public. he's had the fewest press conferences during his first year in office compared to his recent predecessors. why do you think that is and what the impact is of those missed opportunities? >> they probably think he's not terrific at it, and they're right about that. so what they've done is they've put him in smaller settings, town hall settings, for example, where he can kind of jawbone
with voters, and he comes out and makes these announcements and then goes back into the oval office. i think the press conferences are not his best setting, so the white house staff has tried to protect him. but as a result, what occurs is that the press conference we're now going to watch at 4:00 is going to be seen under a microscope. and because the american public doesn't get to see biden in an extended setting, you know, he's going to be judged really, really carefully, whereas if you saw him more often, you might take any mistake in stride. he's been known to make a lot of mistakes, he did that when he was in the obama administration. so i think they tried to protect him, but as a result, it doesn't help him. >> it amplifies the mistakes when he does put himself out there. gloria borger, i appreciate your analysis, as always. let's turn now to the deepening investigation into the trump organization and potential financial fraud.
cnn's cara joining us now. cara, fill us in on the new york attorney general. what have investigators uncovered? >> in the filing late last night, attorney general letitia james outlines a number of statements, possibly fraudulent statements, in fact, that the trump organization has given to banks and lenders. the heart of this is she wants to get at the former president donald trump, donald trump jr. and ivanka trump to testify about what they know about her findings. she said, the office of the attorney general has collected significant additional evidence indicating that the trump organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions. according to james, this covers a number of trump properties, office buildings as well as golf courses. she lays out a number of these alleged misstatements here. ticking through them, she says they overstated the size of
trump's trump tower penthouse, they mischaracterized the assets in the trump organization's control on his cash financial statements when they didn't actually have control of that money. they also alleged they misstated the process with which trump or his associates came up with these valuations that were on these financial statements, and that they failed to use fundamental techniques valuations, breaking from the norm to come up with the numbers that they wanted. they also allege that they misstated outside professionals in reaching valuations, and they failed to advise that certain valuation amounts were inflated by an undisclosed amount of value. he had given a certain amount of value to what he considered the trump brand. that came up previously with michael cohen showing financial statements to congress. we saw this brand appear out of nowhere from one year to the next of $4 billion. specifically she points to a number of these properties, and these were properties that had the involvement of donald
trump's children, donald trump jr., eric trump and ivanka trump, and goes through tic by tic of where these numbers had changed. in 2012, the seven springs estate was valued at $291 million, but in 2016 it actually went to $56 million. they want to know why did that change? trump tower in manhattan, in 2016 it was valued at $327 million on the basis that it was 30,000 square feet. but in 2017 they recognized it was really only 10,000 square feet and revised that number to $116 million. now, trump's seen advisor alan weisselberg acknowledged in that testimony that it was overstated by $200 million, and also the
property the wall street when they said the valuations there had changed from 730 m$730 milln 2013 when a bank that loaned them money actually valued it much less at $250 million. that's quite a big difference. there is a reason that value can be different than appraisals. that's the key to what the trump organization's defense will be if there ever is a civil lawsuit. this is all part of that civil investigation. today the trump organization issued a statement denying any wrongdoing saying the only one misleading the public is letitia james. they said they will vseriously fight against these allegations. >> let's continue the conversation and bring in a couple experts here. he was special counsel to donald trump's first impeachment trial. also a trump biographer, anthony detono. guys, let's talk about a line in
this document here that stood out to me among the filing that reads, quote, while the oag, office of the attorney general, has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action, the grounds for pursuing the investigation are self-evident. do you see charges coming? owen, what does this tell you about potential charges? >> ana, thanks for having me back. we've all seen cases where the public facts seem to indicate a case can be filed. in this case a civil matter by the ag, and then it doesn't turn out that way. however, looking at this full fact pattern, looking at the hundreds of millions of dollars in discrepancy and knowing a ag tish james, i think civil charges are very, very likely here. these are extremely troubling
and well-documented accusations. and, ana, it's not just one, it's over and over again that pattern. i would expect that charges are ahead. that's why they want to trump, trump jr. and ivanka. >> just the broad allegation here, the attorney general's filing says investigators have identified numerous misleading statements and omissions in financial statements used to obtain loans and tax submissions, and she's trying to determine who was responsible. so as a trump biographer, i'm curious, what have you observed? >> well, i think there is no chance that donald trump didn't know absolutely everything that was going on. norm is right, if you add up what these discrepancies reach as a total, it's half a billion dollars or more, and that's just
in the examples that the attorney general noted. he also said, and i think this is worth noting, he's responsible for training his children to play the same games, so if he didn't know precisely what they were doing, he knew how they were operating. and the key example of this historically was the trump soho case where early in the sales, ivanka trump went out and said that 60% of the units were already committed to buyers. in fact, it was only 15% to 20%. she knew she was lying, she had to know she was lying. there was an investigation then, and the rules were different in terms of the informal rules of operation in new york at the time, and trump wriggled out of that case. i don't think he can wriggle out of this one. >> but, norm, at what point does
a lie cross the legal line? >> well, ana, it's a good question. it's one thing for michael and myself to point out these very serious allegations, but then you've got to be able to prove them in court. i think the point at which it crosses the legal line here is, if you can show intent or gross negligence by the executives, and that is then imputed, that's carried over to the company. and that's why the amount, the hundreds of millions of dollars, property after property, seven springs, the trump apartment, all of the other properties that are being looked at, 40 wall street, that pattern, and the recurring nature of the allegations -- and let's bear in mind, they are just allegations now.
that's why these depositions are needed. all of that sets up a mosaic where, by civil standards, it looks like they have a case that can cross that legal line. >> michael, quickly, if you will. if trump is forced to testify, what do you think he does? >> i think he'll obfiscate. he may actually claim -- declare that he is claiming his fifth amendment rights. this is a person who did it 97 times during his first divorce. so he's familiar with the fifth amendment even though he denigrates others who use it. so i would expect it to be a kind of "alice in wonderland" experience for the people taking the deposition, and he'll give very little ground. >> we know that. eric trump has testified and did just that, took the fifth. and as you point out, the former president has said this about
people who take the fifth. if you are innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment, he said in 2016. the mob takes the fifth. and this conversation here. but i want you guys to stay with me, because there is more to discuss, including the new subpoenas from the january 6 committee and what could be the first release of trump white house documents from the national archives. plus the cdc just released a new study comparing the benefits of vaccination to prior infection, and there is one clear winner. and a new warning from secretary of state antony blinken as he meets with leaders in ukraine. what he said about russia's military might. what it could mean for the u.s. effort to stop an invasion. we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair.
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the house committee investigating the january 6 capitol attack issued new subpoenas. rudy giuliani is now included along with these three other key figures who pushed lies and conspiracies during trump's failed bid to overturn the election. cnn is also exclusively learning the committee for the first time took action against members of trump's own family, obtaining phone records from his son eric and his future daughter-in-law. cnn justice correspondent evan perez joins us. evan, major developments here. what more can you tell us? >> these are big developments in the case of the former president's lawyers. rudy giuliani, of course, is the big name there, and he's among the people who is working, as you said, on pushing the idea that there was fraud in all these states that would have made a difference in the election. of course, we know that is not true. in the case of giuliani, he had
conversations with officials in the administration at the time, trying to see if the homeland security department could seize voting machines. so they want -- the committee wants to hear from him, they have testimony about some of his conversations, and now they want to hear from him as well as sidney powell and these other figures that were part of this movement. and in the case of the former president's son, eric trump, he spoke at the january 6 rally in the case of his future daughter-in-law. she was a fundraiser for some of this so-called stop the steal movement. so lots that the committee believes it already has on their hands, and they want to hear more from all of this new information coming in. >> also the national archives plans tro release four pages of trump era documents to the white house on friday. what do we know about these pages? >> we know the trump legal team is trying to block the release
of these documents. they're waiting for the supreme court to decide whether they're going to hear the former president's appeal. according to the biden administration, they believe these four pages are not covered by a stay right now, and so one of the things that the trump legal team said this morning was, ana, that they believe if these pages are released then the biden administration will be in contempt of court. we'll see, there is a 6:00 deadline, whether the archives turns over those documents, those four pages. we don't know what's in those pages but these are documents that the trump legal team says are covered by his claim of privilege. ana? >> interesting. evan perez, thank you, and norm eisen and michael dantonio are back with us now. norm, i'm just wondering why those four pages could potentially be released and not others.
>> the reason those could be released is the legal system is not self-executing. trump and his lawyers have to ask the courts to block the release. they've only covered the first three sets of documents. they didn't, it appears, cover this fourth smaller subset of documents. if the injunction doesn't apply because they didn't ask, as we've seen so often before, they were clumsy in their legal approach, and so these documents are subject to release unless they obtain an emergency injunction. >> michael, on the new subpoenas, this just got personal. the committee, we learned, got phone records from trump's son, eric trump, his future daughter-in-law, kimberly guilfoyle. they were publicly involved, as we know, in trump's stop the steal in his family now. >> i would hate to be hanging
around mar-a-lago today. i imagine he's in a very bad mood. this is, as you say, very personal, but we've gotten to this place because the trumps approach government as if it was a monarchy. so the king's family was intimately involved in everything that was going on in the government and in politics, and all of this was mixed up in a very inappropriate and clumsy way, and now they're stuck with investigators targeting trump family members because they're intimately involved in what could be potential crimes, and certainly in this scandalous story of the trump campaign's effort to overturn the election. so i'm sure the former president is stewing over this, but it's something he invited by making the white house sort of a family affair. >> also interesting, norm, after
50-plus previous subpoenas, the committee finally got rudy giuliani involved. why did it take so long to subpoena him? what does it tell you about the committee's strategy? >> ana, it's interesting. like any investigation, any good investigation, the committee has done a good and a fast investigation. you work your way up the food chain. what we talked about earlier with the civil investigation by the new york ag is kind of a preview. they're reaching the end of the food chain. and the same thing is happening in the congressional investigation. so now we learn that the younger trump's phone records and kimberly guilfoyle, two people very, very close to the president, that their phone records are in the hands of the committee and you have your lawyer, mr. giuliani, in the middle of the big lie, ana, that
continues to have such devastating effects around the country with hundreds of unneeded bills to take the vote away from americans that are promulgated by the big lie. thank goodness the committee is working through those issues and reaching towards the top of the food chain, and i think we know who will be next. it will be don jr., ivanka, jared and ultimately the president himself. this is a sign we're getting to the hearings and to the ultimate report. >> norm eisen and michael dantonio, thank you both. good shaving you here. >> thank you. michael collin is going to join cnn to go through all the accusations of his former boss. that's in the 2:00 p.m. hour. maybe you haven't had covid, maybe you've had covid and
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. the cdc study tells us how much the vaccine gives us protection. this was compiled by the cdc. elizabeth cohen, what does this show? >> this shows that the vaccine is superior to prior infection. they did this with researchers in california and in new york. they looked at 1.1 million cases from may to november in those two states. what they found was that the vaccination was more effective than prior infection at preventing hospitalization. ana, you and i have talked about this countless times. what we look for in a vaccine is to keep p you out of the hospit and out of the morgue. when we stay out of the hospital, it was definitely the
vaccine that won. it's interesting, though, as the year wore on and as the vaccine starred to wane in the summer and fall and as boosters were recommended for everyone, prior infection was better at preventing infection compared to vaccination. so two thoughts on that. one is that, again, this was at a time when vaccinations were starting to wane and before boosters were being given to everyone. two, it looks at preventing infection. while preventing infection is a good thing, it's not the primary job of what we look for out of vaccines. what we look for is preventing hospitalization and death, and the vaccine is said to prevent infection. ana? fears of a military invasion are rising. ukraine says it is now surrounded by more than 125,000 russian troops and the secretary of state, antony blinken, says putin could launch an attack on
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ukranian leaders in kiev. he stresses that the united states will stand by ukraine in a potential invasion. but he also pulls no punches on moscow's capability. >> as we meet today, russia has ratcheted up its threats and amassed nearly 100,000 forces on ukraine's border which could double in short order. >> this as the russian deputy foreign minister says moscow is not going to move any troops away from the ukranian border because of foreign pressure. fred pleitgen is in moscow. you don't send 100,000 troops somewhere with zero intentions. would putin have the chance to lose right now if he were to invade? >> that really is the huge question that everybody is trying to read into, what
exactly is going on in this situation. if you look at some of the moves the russians have recently made, it's not only those troops they have around ukraine, they're moving troops into neighboring belarus right now which also borders ukraine, so it seems like the ukranians are surrounded by pro-russia forces and that is certainly something of concern. i talked to the deputy minister of russia today, and i asked him that very same question. if russia isn't threatening anyone, why are there so many troops amassed around the borders of ukraine? here's what he had to say. >> we will not take any action of aggressive character. we will not attack, strike, invade, quote, unquote, whatever, ukraine. >> so the russians there are saying they are not threatening anyone. they are the ones, they say, who
feel threatened. in those talks, ana, in geneva which was led by that gentleman right there from the russian side, they want guarantees from the united states, they want guarantees that nato would not be enlarged and that ukraine would never become a member of nato. the u.s. has always said those are non-starters but the russians have said they want written answers from the u.s. as to what the u.s. is willing to do, and so far they haven't gotten those, either. that's why that meeting on friday between secretary of state blinken and the russian foreign minister lavrov is of utmost importance. you can sense that here in moscow as well. the kremlin said today they believe that meeting will be absolutely key on how things move forward, ana. >> you know you are going to cover that thoroughly for us. thank you very much, fred pleitgen. a math teacher says he has uncovered an algorithm that proves the election was stolen. the problem? his math does not add up.
that doesn't stop him from touring the country spreading the big lie and getting paid to do it. i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health.
an ohio math teacher believes he has uncovered proof that the 2020 election was stolen and has touted his so-called discovery across america. however, mathematicians have dismissed his claims as nonsense. take a look at what cnn's sara murray uncovered. >> just about every county in the country was hacked. >> reporter: this is how the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen gets even bigger. >> i'm standing against a whole establishment that's saying, oh, that was the cleanest election in history.
>> reporter: that's douglas frank, an ohio math and science teacher who has traveled here in texas and dozens of other states with the financial backing of other conspiracy-minded americans, claiming he uncovered an algorithm proving the election was stolen. he's even absurdly claimed his findings >> his findings have been debunked by election experts and more than a year later, there is still no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, but frank is still winning audiences with lawmakers, election officials and voerters across the country. >> we're going into each state and i meet privately with legislators and attorney generals. >> just one of the foot soldiers inspired by donald trump's election lies. now trying to convince others the election was stolen. >> who are these 35,000 people
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it's been nearly two years since the pandemic started. our students and teachers tried their best, but as a parent, i can tell you that nearly 18 months of remote learning was really hard. i'm so angry that instead of helping our kids get back in the classroom, the school board focused on renaming schools schools that weren't even open . please recall all three school board members now. for the sake of our kids, we can't wait one more day, never mind a whole year for a fresh start.